December 20, 2006 at 8:57 pm #2047
Hi! I am a grown woman, been married for several years, raised a child, had a career and lived far away from my Parents. I’m still having a problem with them that I don’t know how to handle.
They have ALWAYS taught me to honor them. However, to them that means always pleasing them and I have tried. The past several years I have stopped telling them anything because they will try to control me even to the point of calling my friends to find out whats going on with me, trying to find out about my financial situations, etc. It has always been embarrassing, but now it’s worse. I have converted to Catholicism and I KNOW it’s the true church. My parents are very anti-Catholic and are constantly berating me, making snide remarks etc. Talking to them, ignoring them, writing to them doesn’t work.
How do I honor my parents and save my sanity???! I feel foolish having this problem at my age!
Thank YouDecember 21, 2006 at 3:38 pm #3186
Excellent question. I’m in the process of converting, myself, and am interested in others opinions of this sort of thing. My beliefs are only deepening the gulf between my (divorced, secularist) parents and myself. Neither agree with Catholicism and neither like my way of life (i.e. married with a degree but no career and more than one child). I don’t wish to dishonor them, however, I feel that they are wrong on some important life points. Especially, where children are concerned. My mother in particular has verbally abused my children and belittled both myself and my husband. We don’t respond and try to over look…but the temptation exists to tell her “where to head in” if you know what I mean.
Very curious about what one does in this situation.December 23, 2006 at 3:58 am #3187
I’m no expert on the topic, although I have my own issues with my parents.
Sometimes I think it’s just better to distance oneself from bad relationships, as much as you can, even though they’re family.December 24, 2006 at 1:19 am #3188
Honoring your parents doesn’t mean that you have to do everything your parents want. It doesn’t mean allowing them to verbally abuse you. It doesn’t mean that they can pick you apart and you just have to sit there and smile.
Respectable parents don’t treat their children, grown or not, like that. They don’t berate a child’s choices just because they disagree. A loving, stable parent will embrace his/her child no matter what.
I’ve learned with my mother that the best way to “honor” her is to make sure I don’t make the same mistakes. In other words, my mother taught me what I *won’t* do to my children. I keep her at arm’s distance so that she can’t hurt me anymore. And, like many of you, I tried talking to my mother as did my husband. She’s most likely going to her grave as a very dysfunctional woman. I’ve done my part…the rest is up to her.
Lastly, I don’t think that it’s wrong for someone to cut their parents off because of the parents lack of respect for the child’s decisions. If the parents’ behavior is THAT bad, no one should be a martyr. And, I’m SURE that God understands.December 27, 2006 at 3:28 am #3189
Hello! Please don’t think you’re foolish for trying to love someone in the best way that you know how!! Unfortunately, we probably all struggle with this to some degree… I have to constantly tell myself: it’s not how I act, it’s how I RE-act. I have tried and tried to change how I act, but, like you said- no matter what you do, somehow it’s not right. Instead, I’ve tried (and I still struggle!) to step back whenever I’m in the presence of my family and recognize that the comments they make are usually based on their own feelings of inadequacy, and that they do not have to affect me (water off of a duck’s back!). I’m so blessed to have a loving husband and an awesome God that I can turn to when I am frustrated or feeling attacked. I have also resorted to not telling my parents much; their opinions are often hurtful and I can do without them! I’ve also tried to separate feelings from facts (which, with family, is SO hard!). If my mom says something hurtful, I try to let it slip off… however, if I do need to respond to her in some way, I try to pray about it first and then respond very factually. The closer I have gotten to Christ and His Church, the more confidence I feel when defending my faith and my actions. I have to constantly remind myself that I am accountable to Christ alone, and to Him I will answer. This frees me up to love my parents even more and let go of my wishful expectations of them. I will be praying for you!
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